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Patriots Place the Franchise Tag On Welker

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  • Patriots Place the Franchise Tag On Welker

    The Patriots headed into this offseason with a lot of questions, but
    it appears they’ve at least temporarily answered one of them after
    placing the franchise tag on veteran receiver Wes Welker Monday
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    <font size="-2">The Pats have placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker. (FILE:Icon/SMI)</font>

    The team issued a release a little while ago announcing the move,
    which ensures that Welker will be a Patriot for at least next season.
    It also guarantees him at least $9.4 million for the 2012 season. One
    would have to believe that they’ll figure out a way to give him a
    long-term deal, and if history is any indication fans have reason to be

    In each of the last two seasons, New England has used the tag to buy
    more time in contract talks with two important players, and both had
    happy endings. Vince Wilfork (2010) and Logan Mankins (2011) were
    tagged by the Patriots, but the good news was that despite the fact both
    players initially had issues with the designations,the Patriots
    eventually worked out extensions with each player.</p>

    The release pointed out that “the goal” remains to lock Welker up with a new deal.</p>

    “Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been
    a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for
    him in 2007. Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more
    time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal. Wes remains a
    contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot
    for years to come.”</p>

    One interesting note is the fact that it doesn’t appear that the
    Patriots want Welker talking to other teams, much like they didn’t with
    Mankins. With Wilfork he was tendered with a non-exclusive designation,
    which meant that other teams could have hosted Wilfork on a free-agent
    visit and potentially sign him to an offer sheet. Had Wilfork received
    an offer and the Patriots not to matched it, they would have received
    two first-round draft choices.</p>

    According to Welker has spoken to head coach Bill
    Belichick about the move but no other details are currently available.

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  • #2
    Re: Patriots Place the Franchise Tag On Welker

    No surprise with this one. Welker is too important to that team. Brady would've been pissed if he'd been allowed to walk.